Gemini Rue (or: SNATCHER on a budget)

Gemini Rue is… I want to say the first? game published by Wadjet Eye Games that wasn’t also developed by them. Unlike most of Wadjet Eye’s stuff, Gemini Rue is actually a pretty good game, despite being a little clunky and un-ironically naming the protagonist “Azriel Odin”. This game is notable because it uses Adventure Game Studio but really does a lot with the very limited capabilities of that engine - so much so that Wadjet Eye actually ported it to a newer version of AGS earlier this year so that it would be playable on “modern” computers. For reference, most games in AGS have a default, unchangeable resolution of 640x480 and glitch out like crazy on Windows 7, let alone 8.1 or 10.

If you’ve played SNATCHER or Policenauts, you’ll notice some striking similarities to both of those titles. Somehow, the developer of this game (who I think was just one person but hell if I’m looking it up) managed to get working shooter segments in an AGS game… which is actually really impressive given how bad of an engine AGS is.

Still, the game suffers from absolutely horrible writing and a total lack of pacing about mid-way through, which is not something I even remembered until I actually got there. Brace yourself for pseudo-intellectual conversations about the nature of man.

Table of Contents

Main Updates

Update 1: Initiating Memory Wipe…

Update 2: Social Engineering for Fun and Profit

Update 3: Cover Shooting 101

Update 4: Boom, Headshot (WARNING: It’s All Cutscene)

Update 5: Pacing!

Update 6: His Name Was Winston Lucas

Update 7: Our Name is Ed Spiegel (WARNING: It’s All Cutscene)

Update 8: Maintenance Duty

Update 9: The Not-So-Great Escape


Developer Commentary and Other Walls of Text

Mini-Update: Terminal Entries

Commentary Update 1: What The Shit

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Update 1: Initiating Memory Wipe…

A short pan-up shot of an unknown planet, satellites hovering in orbit above it. Gemini Rue is one of those stories where the actual story is out of chronological order, so we’ll be seeing a lot of places now that we won’t see again for quite some time. There’s a long fade to black, then this pops up:

Like a lot of modern adventure games, Gemini Rue uses colors to distinguish between who is speaking at any given time. The game is voiceacted (by Wadjet Eye’s stock team of like, two people) but honestly if you’ve played any of Wadjet Eye’s other games you’ve heard all of these VAs before.

Yeah, the portraits in this game are kinda bad. It’s one of those things where I think they were trying to go for Gabriel Knight’s artstyle the way that the Blackwell games did (ie; not having animated portraits like King’s Quest or Dagger of Amon Ra) but they look kinda bad in 1080p. A lot of characters don’t have portraits at all, so expect a lot more full screenshots for dialogue than Dagger of Amon Ra had.

Meet Delta Six. We won’t be seeing much of him for a while, due to a plot twist that most people playing this game will see coming long before the writers expected them to.

: “What are you doing to me?”

: “Stop… please…”

From this moment onward, we’re given the ability to look around the room. Most things won’t elicit a response, since the scripted dialogue is still playing.

There is one thing we can do that WILL elicit a response - and that’s try to use the straps binding Delta Six to the chair.

The suspiciously electric chair-looking hood clamps down on Delta Six’s head, and the needle in the back plunges into his neck. While most adventure games would be about finding a way out of this situation, Gemini Rue is content to just let you watch.

: "Argh!’

We won’t understand what the entire point of the opening cutscene is for a while - this is actually the last time we’ll be seeing Delta Six for what will probably be several updates to the LP. Instead, let’s meet our real protagonist.

: “People change in five years…”

: “He’s not with the Boryokudan anymore, I told you.”

: “We’re already an hour late. I can’t stay in orbit unnoticed forever.”

: “What do you want me to do?”

: “Find him. Get a new extraction point or we’re getting out of here.”

: “Alright. I’ll start looking through the city. I’ll probably have to ask one of the locals. He moves around all the time.”

: “Alright. One more hour. I’ll be waiting.”

: “Azriel out.”

: “Matthius Howard… where are you?”

There’s a brief yet annoying series of tutorial pop-ups. Basically, Gemini Rue is much better than Dagger of Amon Ra in that right-clicking on something brings up a smaller version of the menu that took up the entire top of the screen in most Sierra games.

From left to right, we have Look, Interact, Talk, and Kick. Azriel starts with three items - his gun, a set of lockpicks, and his totally-not-a-cellphone “communicator”. Alternatively, we can just left-click on most things and Azriel will use whichever action is most appropriate for it. Examining the photos on the wall gets us:

: “People have been missing in Gemini for months now.”

: “The Boryokudan aren’t killing them, but nobody knows where they’re going.”

As Azriel walks down the street, the terminal (that egg-shaped thing in the foreground directly to the right of the inventory pop-up in the last screenshot) rings out.

Allow me to explain. Wadjet Eye are HUGE fucking fans of having stupid “puzzles” in which the protagonist looks shit up on their cellphone. I don’t quite know why this is, but EVERY SINGLE ONE of their games have it and it pisses me off every time I see it, mostly because it gets progressively dumber (see: the Jewish-only search engine in The Shivah which required that you know exactly what the developers wanted you to put into it to progress the plot) every time they re-use it. I get that SNATCHER had Jordan and Policenauts had a dedicated encyclopedia button (on the Saturn at least), but this just kinda seems like lazy game design. Fortunately, Gemini Rue is not particularly bad with this and it kinds of fits in with the weird, Shadowrun-like technology mashup theme they’ve got going on.

The kick animation is kind of wanting, but it’s there.

: “There goes the static… for now, at least.”

Even though we’ve fixed the terminal, Azriel can’t acess it right now due to it requiring an ID card to operate. This means we might as well keep going down the street. Interestingly, we have to at least try to log into the terminal in order to set an event flag for the next screen - I can tell you that in a lot of Sierra games, that wouldn’t be the case.

Oh look, a bum! In the grimdark future of whatever year this is supposed to take place in, I’m willing to bet that somewhere, floating out there in the universe, is a book written by Laura Bow (with a foreword by Detective Halligan) on how to exploit bums for fun and profit. I bet he’s got an ID card we could buy off him with some booze or something…

: “Hey-”

: “Either they’re totally spaced out from the juice withdrawal, or they’re too weak to talk.”

Or we could try this guy. Surprisingly, we at no point exploit a bum in this game.

: “Hi there.”

: “What are you doing out in the rain? You could catch pneumonia.”

: “Don’t you know you should be indoors? It’s a mining day.”

We get a couple of dialog options here. Kane Harris is the guy on the other end of the communicator, so let’s ask this guy about Matthius.

: “Did you check the planetary database?”

: “What?”

: “They have terminals all over the city. You should check them out. They might be able to tell you something.”

: “Where can I find one of those?”

This is kind of one of those moments where the game’s event flags falter. We’ve actually already seen one - it was that terminal just one screen ago. I chalk it up to Azriel possibly being a distant descendent of Steve Dorian.

: “Well, there’s probably one down the block. You can’t miss 'em.”

: “Alright. Thanks.”

The dialog is a little different here if we had already inspected the terminal before talking to the shopkeeper, but I hadn’t done that and had already made a save so let’s just roll with the other way this can go.

: “Did you find your guy?”

: “No, I need a card to access it.”

: “You from off-world or something?”

: “Yeah, police business. We had to bypass the docking ring.”

: “You’re not from this system, are you?”

: “Don’t worry, I won’t report you.”

: “Things have been bad since the war.”

: “We need any help we can get to turn things around.”

: “Well, I’d like to help against the Boryokudan in any way I can.”

: “So I guess you could borrow my card if you really need it.”

: “Thanks. Appreciate it.”

You can also lie to the shopkeeper about why Azriel is on Barracus, but it doesn’t really matter. The game kind of instructs us at this point to look at the card in Azriel’s inventory, so let’s do that.

There are a few places where the game will reward you for paying attention to stuff. This isn’t necessarily one of them, but keep that in mind for… let’s say the next update. Let’s go back to that terminal now.

Opening the terminal gives us a short tutorial on how we can either drag topics from the “communicator” menu in the bottom-left into the search box or just type in the search manually. Before we go looking up Matthius Howard, let’s look at a couple of other terms that have come up. We’ll start with “juice”.

You can see on the left that searching for “juice” also gave us the address of a medical station. The address is 3386 Hollister Drive. Next, let’s try looking up “boryokudan”.

The terminal won’t tell us anything about it, but the Boryokudan are basically the Yakuza. In fact, I think they outright tell you at one point (much later on) that the Boryokudan are literally the Yakuza just having taken in a wider, non-Japanese demographic since the advent of space travel. With no other terms worth looking for, let’s look up Matthius Howard now.

We now know where Matthius lives, though as Azriel points out, we have no idea where Hibiscus Highrise is. By the way, see that part about his job? Remember that for the next update.

Oh, good. We’ve got an address, and the terminal actually provides us with a map as well.

: “I can probably make it there on foot.”

It’s right down the street! How convenient. Before we go, there is one other thing we can check, namely the news.

An ex-assassin working with the Boryokudan Space Yakuza who now works with the police? That’d have to be a pretty edgy guy… I bet he’d have a name like those OCs made by ten year olds on Deviantart, something like “Coldsteel Bloodfang” or “Azriel Odin”… oh, wait. Yes, this is actually Azriel they’re talking about. Let’s leave the terminal now.

Well, that about does it for this update. Next time, we’ll invade a man’s privacy and see where it goes from there.


Update 2: Social Engineering for Fun and Profit

Now that we know where Matthius lives, it’s time for us to take a walk down to Hibiscus Highrise and find him.

First, though, we should stop and give Gerard his ID card back. Unlike a lot of adventure game protagonists, Azriel isn’t necessarily a selfish asshole - though if you try and walk past this screen without giving the shopkeeper his card back, he’ll ask you for it before you leave (the scene is otherwise the same as if you just give it to him.) Strangely, however, the dialogue remains the same regardless of whether you look at the map on the terminal or not.

: “Glad to be of help.”

: “Do you know what street this is?”

: “Brookview Avenue.”

: “Alright, thanks.”

: “If you’re gonna be walking the streets, you’d better watch yourself.”

: “The Boryokudan doesn’t take too kindly to cops, especially ones from outside the system, if you know what I mean.”

: “Understood.”

There are a couple of screens between the shop and Matthius’s apartment.

We can’t do anything on either of these screens right now. The second screen, with building 4388, is actually the headquarters for the Boryokudan. The guy on the left will complain at Azriel for not lighting his cigarette as we walk by.

One screen to the right of the Boryokudan HQ is number 4390 - the apartment building we’re looking for. Remember last update when I said the game rewards attention to detail? We’re about to witness the first instance of that happening in just a minute.

This is the first puzzle of the game. We know that Matthius lives here, but we don’t know his room number, so we’ll need to get it out of the receptionist. There are two ways to do it - one if you paid attention to Matthius’s profile on the terminal, and a second if you didn’t. I’ll do the second way first.

Here, we get four options. For reference, I selected the top one, though the first three options all lead to having to do the longer “puzzle” to get the room number.

…wow, what an asshole! We’re clearly not going to get anything out of the receptionist. Maybe Kane has some ideas.

Selecting Kane’s number will cause Azriel to walk off into the corner, which is actually kind of a nice touch.

: “Kane here.”

: “I located the building Matthius is in but I can’t get the room number out of the receptionist.”

: “You could always use the old torture method.”

I should mention here, briefly, that Kane is voiced by Abe Goldfarb, who pretty much does the same deadpan role in every game he’s in. I think it’s a curse or something.

: “I’m trying to be reasonable.”

: “Hmm… what’s the number for the apartment building?”

: “What do you have in mind?”

: “I could try calling him and see if I can get the number.”

: “I’ll see if I can find the number around here somewhere.”

Fortunately, we’re in luck. There’s a stack of business cards on the reception desk with the reception phone number on them.

Now we can call Kane back.

: “Kane here.”

: “Kane, the number for the apartment is 170-3532.”

: “…3532… Alright, give me a second.”

That’s the harder way to do that. Let’s go back to the first conversation option we had with the receptionist when we first walked in, and try the fourth option.

This is where things get tricky. Matthius’s job was listed on his terminal entry - he’s a “PH Engineer”… but the game doesn’t expect that Azriel remembered that.

This method is much faster, and it’s the one I’m going with for purposes of the “canon” save file - not that it makes a difference. You also might notice that there’s an elevator in the back: we could go that way, but there’s also a set of stairs behind that door near where Azriel was on the phone with Kane. There’s actually an achievement for taking the stairs to the fourth floor… and there’s something else we can find there later. Let’s take the stairs.

Once we reach the fourth floor, Matthias’s room is off to the right. I think the room numbers on the doors were a little easier to read in 640x480, but I remember them still being kinda illegible even at that resolution.

Knocking on the door is right out. We can try opening it, but the door is locked. Even if we try using Azriel’s lockpicks…

The solution may not be readily obvious, but if you remember pretty much any spy movie ever, they always do that thing where they get into the room next door and then jump from window to window, right? Let’s give that a shot. Room 4C next door is locked, but it’s got a mechanical lock that Azriel can pick.

Azriel is a man who is very attached to his lockpicks. Let’s just hope that 4C and 4E have an adjacent window or this whole thing is gonna go to hell real fast.

Inside Room 4C, the first thing we’re going to want to do is shut the door. This isn’t strictly necessary (as the reason we’re closing it would require the player to be psychic) but it makes sense to do.

The glass door leads out onto the fire escape, but something is blocking it from opening. This is kind of a dumb “puzzle”, but the reason it’s blocked is that there’s a stick wedged in the door.

We can take that stick and then proceed out onto the fire escape… which at first seems kind of annoying.

You have to use the hand icon four times here - once to climb the ladder from 4C to the balcony above…

A second time to climb over the railing onto the narrow ledge outside…

A third time to climb over the railing on the other side…

And finally a fourth to climb down the ladder to room 4E. Again, this might seem superfluous, but bear with me here. Once we get down to the glass door to 4E, Azriel quickly finds out that it’s locked. For some reason (likely so he doesn’t damage it), Azriel refuses to use the butt of his gun to smash the glass. Instead, we have to use the stick, only…

Liberal use of the foot icon will cause Azriel to kick the stick through the glass and create a hole that he can use to unlock the door from the inside.

Uh-oh… as soon we enter Matthius’s apartment, the ominous Autosaving icon appears. The game autosaves before any point at which Azriel can die - which means we’re in a heap of trouble.

Oh look, it’s the local Boryokudan goons come to pay Matthius a visit. While you would think that the logical thing to do would be for Azriel to go all Counterstrike and start firing his gun at the door, we need to escape apartment 4E as quickly as possible. This means another trip through the fire escape - only this time, we’re timed on it.

Azriel is safe as soon as he hits the ledge. If you wait here, you’ll eventually hear the Boryokudan goons come in, see the hole in the glass and assume that Matthius left that way. If you’re really fast (or know that this is coming), you can actually catch them on their way out by circling back into 4C and opening the door.

We could go right back into Matthius’s apartment - the Boryokudan guys kicked the door down while we were busy running away - but there’s a kind of dickish easter egg (and related achievement) that we can find right now. By right now, I literally mean right now: going back into Matthias’s apartment is a point of no return in terms of finding it. The easter egg is located all the way back where we started the game.

Walking past the Boryokudan HQ, we can see that the goons aren’t out front anymore. It’s kind of a nice touch in terms of attention to detail.

Way back at the bus station is… wait… is that…

I didn’t get this achievement the first time I played through the game (because I believe missing this specific easter egg locks out the other three). Yes, that is Spike Spiegel, protagonist of Cowboy Bebop. All of the major characters from that show are hidden in Gemini Rue, and are all tied to being at a very specific point event flag-wise and going to a location you have otherwise no reason to visit.

With that over (I actually did this again after the following events for the “canon” save file), we can go back to Matthias’s apartment. Kane will call us as soon as the Boryokudan goons leave.

: “Kane. Looks like the Boryokudan knew about our extraction. They just cleared out Matthius’s apartment.”

: “Check the communication codes for my current location. Got anything?”

: “Got something. Yep… it looks like the Boryokudan, but I’m not sure.”

: “What’s going on here?”

: “I don’t know, but it looks like Matthius left here a long time ago.”

: “I’ll try to contact him and see if they’re still in the city.”

: “So are we still doing this extraction or not?”

: “I’ll get back to you.”

: “Matthius has to have some kind of contact information in there somewhere…”

: “I’ve got to call him and find out where he is.”

The answer to this is actually really simple. Matthius has a terminal just past the door to his room.

Unlike the public terminal, this one has Matthius’s phone number on it. Once you’ve entered Matthius’s room for the second time, Azriel will refuse to leave until he has called Matthius - hence why we had to see Spike before coming back in here.

: “Matthius?”

: “Hello? …Who is this?”

: “It’s Azriel. What happened to our meeting?”

: “Azriel? How’d you get this number?”

: “What happened? You didn’t show.”

: “Azriel, I don’t have time. If I don’t get out of the city-”

: “Where are you?”

: “I’m–”

: “…Do you remember where we were stationed during the war?”

: “What?”

: “The Winchester building, do you remember it?”

: “It’s been ten years. No, I don’t remember it.”

: “Meet me behind it in ten minutes.”

: “What about my brother? Where is he?”

: “Matthius?”

: “The Winchester building. I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

: “Matthius…”

: “…Kane?”

: “Still here.”

: “I need directions to the Winchester building.”

: “What’s going on?”

: “I’ve got thirty minutes. I’ll see you then. Azriel out.”

Okay, time to go chase down Matthius, and…

The screen fades to white.

Next time, we’ll meet back up with Delta Six and see what he’s up to.


Update 3: Cover Shooting 101

Before I start, this update is going to be kind of short compared to the previous two. The reason for that is that this entire segment is basically a introduction to the shooting segments in Gemini Rue.

Right after the screen fades to white, we wind up in a dimly-lit room in what is actually a place called Center 7. Center 7 is (as we’ll learn in a few minutes) ostensibly a prison in space where Delta Six is currently being held.

The door to the left opens up, and one of the two figures inside leave. Both have male voices.

Things are looking ominous already! The second person in the room leaves, and shortly afterward, the lights turn on to reveal Delta Six lying on the floor. This room is actually one of the most important rooms Delta Six will need to deal with during his stay at Center 7 - you’ll see why later.

A pre-recorded message featuring a female voice starts playing before getting abruptly cut off by a second voice. The second voice is one we’ve heard before - he’s the guy standing behind Delta Six when he gets mindwiped at the start of the first update.

: “Hello again…”

: “My name is the director.”

: “Delta-Six. Wake up, will you?”

Delta Six actually has a pretty smooth getting up animation, but it’s hard to capture in screenshot form.

: “Do you realize how far you’ve set back your training by trying to escape and having your memory wiped again?”

: “Do you understand anything that I am saying?”

: “… Please tell me they didn’t erase your vocal functions.”

: “I specifically told them to do only the non-cognitive wipe.”

: “Please say something. Anything. A simple word would suffice.”

: “Alright, Delta-Six. Glad to see you back in functioning order.”

: “But logic tests are such a bore, and you look fine to me. Don’t you agree, Delta-Six?”

Delta Six doesn’t respond. He’s really not much of a talker.

: “I’ll take that as a yes… so, let’s get back to the fun bit of your training.”

: “Before your unfortunate escape attempt, we were training you in the finer aspects of the handgun.”

: “Let’s see if you can still remember how to use it.”

Now, you might be asking, “Wait, if this is actually a prison, why the hell are they letting the inmates have guns?”. You’ll understand that eventually, but in the short-term…

If we try to leave the room with the gun, the scanner will pick it up and not let Delta Six out until he returns it. Instead, let’s pick up the gun and get shooting.

All of the shooting segments in Gemini Rue start with Azriel or Delta Six getting into cover. As long as they are in this position, Azriel/D6 can’t be hit, but also can’t hit anything.

This is the “out of cover” position, which allows Azriel/D6 to shoot. Both characters use semi-automatic handguns that operate the same - pressing space while out of cover fires a single, inaccurate shot that has a decent chance of hitting targets that are out of cover.

What the game doesn’t mention is that Azriel has limited ammo - Delta Six’s gun just kind of downloads more bullets via the magic bullet lever. Azriel can increase his ammo count by collecting spare magazines (which we’ll see later on). Running out of ammo as Azriel is a game over.

Finally, we have the most annoying part of the shooter segments in Gemini Rue - the headshot meter. If you have just the right timing, you can start the headshot meter by hitting control while out of cover. The headshot meter will flash about halfway up the green zone - shooting a target that is out of cover will instantly kill them if you manage to pull it off.

The problem is that enemies are usually only out of cover if they plan on shooting, and getting hit at all will cause the headshot meter to drop back to zero. The game does tell you that you can change the difficulty of the shooting segments - I recommend putting it on the absolute lowest difficulty. There are achievements for doing all of the shooting segments without getting hit, which is something for pure masochists. I won’t be doing those in this LP because fuck that noise.

Once we’re done with the shooting tutorial (where we must get two headshots, one on a moving target), the director has enough and lets Delta Six go back to his imprisonment.

: “Good. Now, I suppose you don’t remember why you are here anymore…”

: “This is a training facility where you are taught to become proper citizens again.”

: “As long as you follow orders, you will be out of this facility and back on the road to a normal life.”

: “These tickets are usually good for three meals.”

: “You can redeem them at the mess hall by inserting them into a dispenser.”

: “Go ahead and take it. Your food and well-being is up to you to take care of.”

: “Oh, and Delta-Six – please don’t try to escape again.”

: “Erasing your memory is just as painful for you as it is for us.”

: “We have a tight schedule and we’re on time limitations to get you and all of your friends rehabilitated.”

: “For all of our sakes, I hope I don’t have to repeat myself again. Do I make myself clear?”

: “Yes.”

: “Good, Delta-Six. Now, please exit the testing chamber.”

At this point, we go back through that scanner. It sees we don’t have the gun, and lets us out back into the hallway. Center 7 is kind of a maze, but we can take the western door to advance the plot.

Waiting for us on the other side of the door is…

Delta Six just kind of does it without questioning it.

: “Do you know who I am?”

We’re given the option of either saying Yes or No. It doesn’t matter which one you pick.

: “… No.”

: “Good. You have something on your sleeve that belongs to me.”

: “Good seeing, you, Charlie.”

: “…Charlie?”

This was the only item Delta Six had in his inventory. There’s no real reason to look at it, since all he’d notice is that it had scribbles on it. The woman walks off so fast that Delta Six doesn’t even have time to respond. She went to the west, so let’s follow her.

: “Who is that? You there, on Level 5.”

: “Oh, Delta-Six… It’s me, the director, once again.”

: “If you could be so kind as to figure out why the elevators have stopped working on that level, that would be great.”

: “Could you do that for me? Please?”

You may have already noticed, but the power cable in the top-right corner of the screen got disconnected when the elevator broke. You may also notice the conspicuous blue crate near the left elevator door. You know what time it is? Time for a crate pushing puzzle!

Crate usage is mercifully short-lived in Gemini Rue. You move them by using the hand icon on them, and then hitting A or D to move them left or right. Delta Six moves them extremely fast: going from one side of the screen to the other took me maybe two seconds. You can also climb on top of them with W.

Fixing the elevator allows us to move freely through Center 7.

This is the elevator floor list. We can’t go down to maintenance right now, and the gym is also closed. We do have that meal ticket, so let’s go and use that.

Or not. In the style of every bad early access survival game, Delta Six gets promptly ganked for his ticket.

The two goons run off with Delta Six’s ticket, leaving us to go to the mess hall empty handed. Too bad we didn’t bring that gun.

There’s a woman sitting by herself at the end of the room, near the dispensers. I wonder if she’s got anything to say?

: “Did you find out where we are? The map?”

: “…What?”

: “You don’t remember… do you?”

: “I… I don’t know…”

: “… My name is Epsilon-Five.”

: “…Your name is Charlie.”

: “Why do you call me that?”

: “You chose that name.”

: “I’ve called you that since you first saved me.”

: “You told me you were planning to have your memory erased again. They do that when you try to escape.”

: “What?”

: “You said it was to complete a map. To find out where we are.”

: “Why?”

: “Because… we have to get out of here… before the director…”

: “I know you don’t remember anything… but … you have to trust me.”

: “You took care of me when I got here, and now it’s my turn to take care of you.”

: “I don’t… sorry…”

: “Here… have the rest of my food.”

: “I’ll meet you tomorrow at my testing chamber. We… we usually walk back together.”

: “…okay?”

: “Okay.”

Epsilon Five walks off, leaving Delta Six alone again. If we try to follow her…

I’ll cut out the elevator ride to the 2nd floor, where Delta Six’s room is. Delta Six has to use a retinal scanner to get into his cell block.

Home, sweet home.

Uh-oh. That doesn’t sound good at all. Has Delta Six only really been here for just under two weeks? Seems like a really short time to teach someone how to use a gun - speaking of which, why ARE they training the prisoners on how to use guns? Without any input, Delta Six automatically goes to bed.

We don’t get a fade to black before the screen transitions right into the next scene.

And there’s the ominous autosaving message. Next time, we’ll witness Azriel’s shooting skills and try to help Matthius get off the planet.


Update 4: Boom, Headshot

Fair warning, most of this update is basically a cutscene. There’s going to be a lot of dialogue.

When we return from Delta Six’s segment, we wind up with the ominous autosaving message again. Matthius walks around on screen for a minute before Azriel shows up.

Azriel: “…Matthius.”

Matthius: “You sure nobody followed you?”

Azriel: “You’re alone…”

Matthius: “Azriel… I-I’m sorry.”

Matthius: “Look, I tried to call you, but you were in hyperspace. By the time you got here it was too late.”

Azriel: “They got him?”

Matthius: “The Boryokudan tracked him down here two days ago.”

Matthius: “They got him while I was getting my family off-world to Colony 4.”

Azriel: “Somehow, I knew this was going to happen.”

Matthius: “Which is why I gave him the tracking device.”

Azriel: “You what?”

Matthius: “I gave him a capsule before they got him. I traced it onto a transport that’s been sent off-world.”

Matthius: “I would’ve followed him, but you know how the planetary regulations are. Can’t get a ride anywhere these days.”

Azriel: “So he’s still alive? Where did they send him?”

Matthius: “I don’t know. That’s the trouble. The ship goes straight off into deep space. Uncharted areas.”

Matthius: “I just need to re-calibrate these coordinates then-”

With that, Azriel clumsily takes cover behind the dumpster on the left as two Boryokudan goons show up.

You can see here that Azriel has a health bar - I didn’t do so well with this combat because I was still getting used to the controls. The two goons have a very easy to discern pattern on the standard combat difficulty - they pop out of cover, fire six shots, then take some time to reload before coming back out of cover. The trick here is to pop out of cover as soon as they reload, wait a few seconds, and then start the headshot meter.

For reference, Azriel starts the fight with 24 rounds - 8 in his magazine and 16 to spare. I managed to pop both enemies in the head after missing two shots. Once the fight is over, Azriel and Matthius run back into a small alleyway on the left, and a third goon shows up.

Communicator: “What’s the problem?”

Azriel: “I need immediate evac from Pittsburg. Punching in my current location. How soon can you be here?”

Communicator: “Roger that, ETA five minutes. Closest available landing spot above ground level is on top of Hibiscus Highrise.”

Communicator: “Are you with your brother?”

Communicator: “Azriel?”

Azriel: “No. I’ll be there soon. Over and out.”

The Boryokudan goon will start shooting at this point. Humorously enough, you can use the gun on him to have Azriel fire back - none of the shots will hit him, but you can keep doing this to the point where Azriel is definitely firing bullets he doesn’t actually have. This is actually another crate “puzzle”. The game tells you that you can use Matthius like an item, so let’s do that.

It’s like Matthius is dense or something.

Matthius jumps the wall without being asked, leaving Azriel to climb over himself. Unfortunately…

For some reason, despite being the same height as Matthius, Azriel can’t climb that wall from this position. Instead, we have to push the box to the left…

Yeah, Azriel basically does a goofy-ass cartoon jump that kind of makes no sense. It doesn’t look any better in video format - this is one of the few points where they kinda skimped on the animation.

No shit, Matthius! Climbing that wall puts Azriel right behind that locked gate from earlier in the game.

The “puzzle” here is as simple as “use pistol on lock”, boom done. Now, get ready for a chase scene straight out of Dagger of Amon Ra.

As we leave the first screen, the camera cuts over to the Boryokudan headquarters. They know we’re here, meaning we’ll have to evade them.

Basically, continuing to the right from the shop would put Azriel right in the Boryokudan’s path. Instead, we can walk down this alleyway and bypass them completely.

Uh-oh. Let’s hope by “that building”, they mean the one we just came from. That’s what they mean, right? Once the Boryokudan have left, we’re free to go two screens to the right and visit Hibiscus Highrise again.

Autosave! Of course they meant this building.

Matthius: “The only way I know of is a shaft on the sixth floor of the building.”

Matthius: “Then take 'em out already.”

Azriel: “I’m on my last magazine. I can’t risk it.”

Wait, what? Azriel, you had twenty bullets left! Ninteen if you count the one you put into the lock at the gate!

Matthius: “Oh come on, just give me the gun already.”

Azriel: “I thought you said you would never use a gun again.”

Matthius: “Oh yeah, right. The vow. Got it.”

Azriel: “…We’ll have to sneak past.”

So, stealth segments in point-and-click games. They’re usually absolute shit - the stealth segments in Broken Sword 3 were why I was never able to finish that pile of crap. Fortunately, Gemini Rue is kind of really nice about this one, even though you have to do it twice, once for Matthius and once for Azriel. The guard by the counter doesn’t move as far as I can tell - only the one in front of the elevator does.

Fortunately for us, his patrol route takes him off the screen entirely, giving you plenty of time to get both characters across.

This is another kind of weird stealth bit that I don’t really understand why the developers put in. There are Boryokudan goons on the third floor - there’s no way to know this other than that the text boxes from their chatting are coming from above. Going above the second floor at all causes them to spot Azriel and instantly kill him. The thing is, you can’t see them until after you’re in kill range, so there’s no real way to know exactly where they are other than trial and error.

To avoid them, we can simply go to the second floor and take the elevator.

Matthius: “Isabel’s well… the kids are fine too.”

Azriel: “What have you got, three of them now?”

Matthius: “Yeah… they grow up fast, huh?”

Azriel: “…Wouldn’t know…”

As soon as they get out of the elevator, the Boryokudan show back up. Azriel and Matthius take cover in a doorway that is somehow deep enough to give them both total cover.

Wait, WHAT?!

Welcome to the second real combat segment of the game. This one is exactly like the first, only we have very limited ammo. It is possible to kill the enemy with bodyshots, but every single bullet has to hit for that to work. This enemy uses the same pattern as the previous ones, so we wait for him to reload, jump out of cover and start charging the headshot meter.

Boom. One shot, one kill.

Fortunately, the door to the roof is just beyond where Azriel was previously taking cover. He then proceeds to waste his remaining ammo (he’ll fire seven shots even if you used all but one of your bullets) and lets Matthius open the door.

Oh boy, we’re being chased! It’s a good thing I’ve played Dagger of Amon Ra and know that the first step to any chase scene is to shut and lock the door! Let’s do that.

We can’t get the door open by ourselves, so let’s have Matthius do all the work for once.

There’s a bunch of different options when Matthius asks us what to do. Pushing against the door is the correct one. We can then use Azriel’s foot on the door…

And we’re good to go! Kane comes down to urge us to get into the ship, and it quickly takes off.

Azriel: “…Guess so.”

Kane: “And what about your friend here? What’s his name?”

Azriel: “Matthius. Used to work with him about five years back. He defected to–”

Matthius: “Azriel!”

Kane: “Ugh. Now what does he want? It’s bad enough he wanted to hitch a ride with us off the planet.”

Azriel: “He left his family on Colony 4.”

Kane: “Oh. Well then.”

The rest of this part is a big giant plot dump akin to Act 2 of Dagger of Amon Ra. I’ll just cover the highlights.

Basically, Azriel’s brother has been taken to Center 7, which is somewhere in a nebula that screws up spaceship navigation systems. The Boryokudan have the exact location of Center 7, and Azriel is going to go get it so he can save his brother and we can all go home. Then there’s a flash to white.

Oh boy, another exposition dump immediately after that last one! Seriously, this is like ten minutes of solid cutscene and it kinda sucks. Wadjet Eye does this a lot. However, after another short dialog dump I’ll put up later…

Finally, we get to go back to actual gameplay. So, I guess I’ll ask the question. Who goes first?

  • Azriel
  • Delta Six

0 voters

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Update 5: The Least Sensical Escape Ever

Delta Six won the poll, so let’s go with him for now. There’s a scene from last update I didn’t show just in case we wound up going with Azriel instead. Fair warning: There are a LOT of pointless text dumps I’m going to be shortening or skipping outright because this part of the game has some serious pacing issues. This happens immediately after the giant purple text dump from the last update.

BLU Chamber 2 sounds like part of a TF2 map. If you’ll remember from the last time we played as him, Delta Six had his meal ticket stolen the day before - so logically, there’s no reason for us to go to the mess hall at all (since without a ticket, there’s no way for us to get food). Still, the game won’t let us into the testing area until after breakfast, so we have to head there because bullshit event flags.

The trip there is exactly the same as before: go to the elevator, go to the fourth floor, and go through the screen of faceless NPCs added in to make it look like Center 7 has more than about four NPCs who actually matter. Just like before, there’s a single person sitting by the food dispensers.

This is Balder. Balder has a really overblown New York accent and sounds like an asshole, probably because he is. He also sounds suspiciously similar to the guy who kicked Delta Six down and stole his food ticket.

Balder: “Oh… you don’t remember me, do you?”

Balder: “I told you not to go through with it, man. I told you not to do it.”

DeltaSix: “Who are you?”

Balder: “I’m Balder. Somebody stole your food ticket, huh?”

DeltaSix: “Yes.”

Balder: “Don’t worry, you can have the rest of mine.”

Balder: “We’re friends, Charlie. We’ve stuck together since day one.”

Balder: “Have you talked to anyone else yet?”

There’s a Yes/No option here, both of them work out the same. I picked yes.

Balder: “Who?”

Balder: “It was Epsilon-Five, wasn’t it?”

DeltaSix: “I…”

Balder: “I know it was.”

Balder: “Okay, listen up. Before you tried to escape, some bad things happened because of her.”

Balder: “It’s because of her that everybody hates you now.”

Balder: “… There’s a reason nobody will talk to ya.”

Balder: “If she pretends to be your friend, don’t believe her. She’s trying to trick you again, alright?”

DeltaSix: “Okay…”

Another choice here. Not surprisingly, both options work out the same. I picked the top one.

Balder: “Don’t ask me, man.”

Balder: “I’m not the one who wanted to erase his own memory.”

Balder: “All I know is I saw you talking to Giselle the day before you did it.”

DeltaSix: “What?”

Balder: “Maybe you should go find her.”

For reference, the brown-haired woman (actually come to think of it, everyone but Epsilon-Five has brown hair in this game) that Delta Six met right after waking up from the memory wipe is Giselle. A bell rings, and the intercom sounds off.

Balder: “Guess I’d better get going. I’ll be in the gym after testing’s over if you need me. Keep in touch.”

Yeah, screw this jackass. Let’s go shoot some stuff. I’ll save you the elevator ride and having to scan Delta Six’s eyes on a couple of retinal scanners on the way there.

Just like before, the room before the test chamber scans Delta Six for contraband before letting him in. If Update 3 was Cover Shooting 101, this part is Cover Shooting 201. It’s essentially an advanced gun tutorial.

Speaker: “Alright, let’s get down to business…”

A less classy LPer would have just plastered that damn song from Mulan right here or done a “TO DEFEAT THE HUNS” in italics but I’ll spare you.

Speaker: “Today, we will continue with your gun training.”

Why did they send me dialogue, when I asked for guns?

This game kinda sucks at pacing, and you can bet before we’re through

Readers I’ll, make you realize it too

Game, I’ve already built a sentry nest on the enemy’s intelligence by the time that text and the following 10 that I’m not going to show have popped up.

Anyway, what the speaker ultimately wants us to do is hit each target for a total of 10 points of damage. Bodyshots are 1 point, headshots are 2.

There’s also a little red light on either side that is basically a stand-in for the enemy shooting at you. The idea is to clear this without getting hit.

The light moves predicitably between sides, and is super easy to avoid. It’s almost identical to the shooting pattern of the Boryokudan goons we just took out in the last update.

There’s an achievement for doing this without taking a “hit”. It’s pretty easy to do as long as you’re not trying to rely on headshots (which are slower anyway).

Unfortunately, that’s not our “real” test for today - so we don’t get a meal ticket. Guess what we have to do… again… for the ticket?

That’s right, we quit out of the game, drop it forever, and go play a better cover-based shooter. I mean… of course we do the same training again. Why wouldn’t we?

Okay, that’s over. Now, if you’ll remember the last update, we need to walk Epsilon Five to the mess hall.

DeltaSix: “Hello.”

Sayuri: “Well, I’ve finished my computer training for the day.”

Sayuri: “Did you get your ticket?”

DeltaSix: “Yes.”

Sayuri: “Are you okay? Do you remember anything else?”

DeltaSix: “Not really…”

Sayuri: “We usually go back together after the testing. You stopped them stealing my food tickets that way.”

DeltaSix: “Okay…”

Sayuri: “Shall we go then?”

Basically, we now get to go do the same elevator routine to the mess hall we literally just did, only now with Epsilon Five in tow.

Anyway, we drop her off at the mess hall. Delta Six won’t eat with her because he is dense, but we can use the meal ticket on the dispenser to get a meal… which he won’t eat.

You know what, let’s just be a lunkhead and go right to the gym. I bet Balder’s there just waiting to stab Delta Six with a prison shank and steal his kidneys.

The only thing we can interact with (other than Balder) are the weight shelves in the background. There’s a trial-and-error puzzle coming up that I’m just going to solve now.

One of these weights is not like the other. One of these weights is useful. Hint: It’s the 4-pound one. We can also talk to Balder, who takes something like twenty lines of text to say what he could have said in two. In fact, let me just do that.

Balder: “Hey Delta Six, you should go talk to Giselle. She’s on maintenance duty.”

Thanks, Balder! I knew you were written by people who had a sense of pacing. Now let’s go on to talk to Giselle, who will not in any way use over 50 dialog boxes (boxes, not lines) to tell us the same thing four times!

Pacing! There’s a dialog puzzle here but you can just brute-force your way through (she’ll ask you why you’re here and you pick the most dense option possible). Now, let’s listen to her short dialogue where she tells us what we need to know quickly without repeating herself four times (note: all the following dialog is my own)

Giselle: “Oh hey Charlie, pleasure seeing you here, considering you had your memory wiped. Why the hell are you here?”

DeltaSix: “Epsilon Five told me everything.”

Giselle: “Well, that’s just great. One more person who knows about my escape attempt.”

Giselle: “You see, I’ve been using people to purposely try and escape so they can get a map of the facility so that I can escape myself.”

Giselle: “I’m kind of a manipulative sociopath in case you haven’t picked up on that by now.”

Giselle: “Did you know that if you don’t take your final exam they stop giving you meal tickets and you eventually starve to death?”

Giselle: “Also this is a prison facility for rehabilitating criminals, so they mindwipe you when you enter… and when you leave.”

Giselle: “That’s why I won’t take my final exam, because I don’t want to forget who I am.”

Giselle: “And really losing your memory is kind of the same as dying isn’t it?”

DeltaSix: “Why am I not beating your face in right now?”

Giselle: “Nevermind. Anyway you can’t escape with me because you’re useless and I hate you.”

DeltaSix: “I could get you a gun.”

Giselle: “You are now my best friend. Go get me a gun so I can tell you to mindwipe yourself again.”

Boom. By the way, this is how many dialog lines it would’ve taken had I showed the entire coversation with Giselle here. Each screenshot is one box.

Also we can con Giselle into letting us into the tool closet (which requires us to enter the room but she never mentions this) to grab a screwdriver but only if we give her our meal.

Giselle: “This meal tastes like sadness. As a sociopath, I enjoy feasting on the sadness of others.”

Now, let me just point something out here. Delta Six has access to one gun. He has no idea if the gun is even real or not (given that it reloads with a magic “download more bullets” button), and he’s going to get it anyway.

Back at the testing chamber, we can use the screwdriver to pop off the grate on the drain in the floor.

We then solve the puzzle in the most predictable fashion possible, by taking the gun and dropping it down the drain hole. The four-pound weight is used to replace the pistol. Wadjet Eye have often been accused of not doing their homework, and it kinda shows here: not only does this entire situation not make a whole lot of sense, but four pounds is quite heavy for a handgun. For reference, a Colt M1911 (a .45 pistol you’ve probably seen a million times in games) weighs about 3 pounds. 9mm handguns are usually even lighter (around 2.5 pounds). 4 pounds is more or less a Desert Eagle. You can find out how much the gun weighs by looking at it in your inventory, but it’s easier to get the weight on the way up here.

The gun falls down and gets lodged in a pipe. We’ll need to grab one more thing before we go and dislodge it.

Inside Delta Six’s toilet is a pipe. We need this for a “puzzle” we’re going to get to solve four times.

We first have to use the screwdriver on the left-most vent in the mess hall. A less classy LPer would have put one of those Archer “PHRASING!” memes here.

Once we do that, we get a closeup of the gun being lodged behind a flap that we have to push with the pipe.

Delta Six now gets to have Balder move one of the weight racks by himself, which Balder will do without questioning it even though (as we learn later) he doesn’t know about the escape attempt.

A less classy LPer would have positioned Balder just right so it looked like Delta Six is giving him a handjob.

We then go back to the mess hall to get Epsilon Five, who we use to open the door to the women’s cellblock.

Azriel looks on in disapproval from the corner.

Finally, we need to do a stupid “light up the blocks” puzzle! Hooray! Game design!

Fuck doing this, I just looked the answer up. The gun falls into a pipe on the right side of the screen, where it gets stuck one last time.

Humorously enough, Delta Six will walk right through that steam without flinching only to complain that it’s making the obviously wooden crate too hot to touch.

There’s a wheel over near the door we can use to shut the steam off, allowing Delta Six to push the crate to the pipe and use his own pipe to knock the gun loose. Since I hate Giselle, let’s just sum up her dialogue.

Giselle: "Gimme that gun!’

DeltaSix: “Okay.”

Giselle: “Your map sucks and I hate you but you’re in. What did you write here, your handwriting sucks.”

DeltaSix: "It says ‘space cargo bay.’ "

DeltaSix: “I also want Epsilon Five to come along.”

Giselle: “Spess mehreens! Battle brothers! As you know, most of our battle brothers are stationed… in space! Space! Spess Mehreens!”

DeltaSix: “She can hack computers.”

Giselle: “I’m going to go write a thirty-page thinkpiece about how if you watch Code Geass closely you can see Nunnally in the flashbacks.”

Then, mercifully, the screen fades to black. Next time, we’ll get to play as Azriel again and hopefully never see Giselle ever.


Update (Delta) Six: His Name Was Winston Lucas

I kind of wish I had saved Delta Six for this update so I could get away with the whole (Delta) Six pun. Anyway, we’re Azriel again.

There’s a short cutscene here mostly to establish what Azriel’s goals are:

Communicator: “Must’ve been a pain during the war.”

Azriel: “They turned off the machines so we didn’t get soaked all the time.”

Azriel: “Stopped mining. Halted space exploration for about a year.”

Azriel: “What was the address Matthius gave?”

Communicator: “What? Are you just gonna go up to the front door and ask them to hand over the location?”

Azriel: “I’m going to try.”

Communicator: “Azriel…”

Azriel: “I’ll find out where this Center 7 is, and I’ll get out. I’ll make this quick.”

Communicator: “…We’ll see. The address he gave is Brookview Avenue 4388.”

Azriel: “I’ll get back to you when I have the coordinates.”

Azriel: “If I’m going to do any sleuthing, I’ll have to fix my lockpick.”

Azriel: “I’ll need a carbon ray stabilizer to do it.”

The astute among you might remember that back alley behind the shop from two updates ago that we went into briefly to avoid the Boryokudan. That’s actually where we need to go in the long run, but just like last time, there are some dickish collectables that we can only get during this particular event flag state.

If we head back to this screen, just east of where the shop is, there’s now an extra magazine underneath the dumpster. As far as I know, this does actually add to Azriel’s total ammo. I haven’t played this game in something like five years prior to doing this LP, but from what I remember this ammo actually sticks around.

This screen actually contains an event flag we need to progress, but screw that! Let’s go all the way back to Hibiscus Highrise instead, and climb the stairs up to near the top floor.

Hello, Mr. Boryokudan goon! There’s an object on this screen that wasn’t there the first time we came by - we’ll have a look at that in a bit. Can you tell what it is?

Funnily enough, the achievement trigger happens before you ever even see the next Cowboy Bebop cameo on screen. Unlike Spike (whose portrait was a hasty edit), Jet doesn’t get one at all.

So okay, let’s head back to that intersection… or not! There are two more ammo magazines to grab, so I’ll just go ahead and sequence break a little bit.

The new object on this screen is that pile of muck in the gutter. Azriel won’t go through it with his hands, but he’ll gladly use his foot to kick it for some reason.

The first kick gives us an ID card. Let’s take a look at it.

Interesting. Azriel can keep kicking at the trash, but his next two attempts don’t cause anything more to pop out. On his third attempt, though…

Oh look, someone left ammo just lying around on the ground again! Damn Boryokudan, always dumping perfectly good magazines full of pistol ammo that just happens to match the caliber of whatever pistol Azriel uses.

Let’s sequence break a little more. There’s a screen to the left of where we started the game that Azriel will refuse to venture into until this point - it’s kind of bad game design since it makes you think there’s nothing there, only to have Azriel suddenly go “Oh wait there’s stuff here now”. On the way back, though, we get stopped by the Boryokudan.

Okay, NOW let’s go to that new screen.

The third spare magazine is located here - it’s a little gray object you can see in the first two shots. Two of the three dead guys have nothing on them, and we have to kick over the third to inspect him.

Azriel: “Only thing that looks useful is his ID card.”

Azriel: “His name was Winston Lucas.”

Remember how we needed a citizen ID card to access the terminals? Now we can do that again. There’s an achievement for looking up a bunch of shit we’d have no reason to normally, which I’ll do as a mini-update after this one. So now it’s time to go make progress, right? Nope! We still have another bullshit easter egg to find, which gets locked out almost immediately after we make progress.

Oh boy, a box! My psychic sequence-breaking senses are tingling!

Just like the wall in his last segment, Azriel can’t reach the ladder because he has not yet learned to jump. Instead, we do another weird-ass Mario physics thing that at least kind of makes more sense than the last time.

Yeah! We’re breaking za law, breaking za world, breaking a random window, kowase! Judge-o-ment! Man, I miss Yakuza Zero.

Anyway, this is an apartment building we have no reason to be in yet.

Let’s go up the stairs for no particular reason! Maybe we’ll get a third-person brawler segment where we’ll get introduced to Azriel’s unique combat style of being kinda mediocre with guns.

Or we’ll find another Cowboy Bebop reference. Ed’s dialogue is voiced, and the end result sounds like one of those girls on Youtube who try way too hard to be “kawaii uguu”.

Ein is the best-written character in this game. I wish I was kidding. Anyway, that makes all of the event-flag locked stuff we can currently access… for now. Thankfully, picking up the two cards and breaking the window into this apartment are all things we needed to do anyway.

Back at this intersection, there’s a boarded-up door right behind where those Boryokudan guys were. We could have kicked this open a long time ago, but there’s nothing we could actually do here until right now.

Azriel has a very short memory. This is the building the Boryokudan guys were talking about burning down. The Carbon Ray Stabilizer we need to fix Azriel’s lockpicks just so happens to be in one of those crates on the far side of the screen, but Azriel can’t get over there due to that support beam and his staunch refusal to ever duck or go prone.

For a very brief moment, a figure appears in the doorway and then leaves. This is actually where I got stuck the first time I played Gemini Rue, because I missed the figure in the door entirely. What we need to do is go back to the back alley.

There’s a random, un-named woman rifling through a dumpster who kinda looks like the figure we saw through the door, assuming we screenshotted that exact moment and didn’t miss the half-second she’s on screen. Like Giselle, she has a metric assload of dialogue. I’ll go through the first part (which is kind of important) and then summarize the rest.

Azriel: “Hello?”

Azriel: “Can I at least know your name?”

Azriel Odin, professional creeper.

Wait a second… this person looks familiar, even through the undetailed portraits.

Azriel: “Okay…”

Okay, I just KNEW Azriel Odin coudn’t be his real name.

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “Azriel Odin…”

Azriel: “Does that name mean something to you?”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “You’re Azriel Odin…”

Azriel: “That’s right. Do you know me or something?”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “…No… but the Boryokudan do.”

Azriel: “And I take it you know the Boryokudan?”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “They say you’re a pain to them. An annoyance that keeps coming back.”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “They say you were an assassin your whole life, but just recently you betrayed them all and now you’re hunting them down as a cop.”

Azriel: “Is that what they say?”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “Is it true?”

Azriel: “…People say lots of things. Just because they said it doesn’t mean it happened.”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “You don’t seem like an assassin to me. If you’re really Azriel Odin, that is.”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “You don’t have death in your eyes.”

She then gives us a dialog menu.

Most of these options don’t get us anything - she’ll refuse to show her face, and seems to know about Center 7 but keeps denying that she does. We can ask her for a favor, but she won’t do anything until we find her security card. Strangely, there’s no different dialog for if you’ve already found her card.

She’ll follow us to the place where Azriel kicked the boards down. I accidentally took this screenshot while trying to get her to go under the board.

The context doesn’t really help much. Anyway, she’ll go to the other side and inspect the crates, one of which contains the Carbon Ray Stabilizer we need. As soon as the girl gets us the item, she walks out, leaving Azriel her name.

We can only use the Carbon Ray Stabilizer in a dry place - so it’s either here or in one of the two apartment buildings. Using it fixes Azriel’s lockpicks… which we’ll use next time when we run into another massive text dump.

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Mini Update: The Terminals and the “Research Paper” achievement

One of the achievements in this game that I haven’t shown off is “Research Paper”, for finding all of the articles in the terminals. There are some (minor) spoilers for the next update, which I’ll put at the very bottom. We’ve already looked up a couple of terms (Juice, Boryokudan, Barracus, Hibiscus Highrise, and Matthius Howard) but there’s a whole bunch more we could look up right now.

Gerard is the guy working at the shop in the first update who let us borrow his ID card.

Yeah, the terminal entries are kinda lazy (that last one even has a typo). I honestly have to wonder if one of the people at Wadjet Eye saw this game and was like “You know what would make this even better - if we added a search thing you had no reason to use apart from a handful of times. Just make sure there’s plenty of random entries in there.” At least it’s not as bad as The Shivah.

Yeah, I don’t think any of this was run through a spell checker. I’m not quite sure why they put an achievement in for this at all. If I had developed this game, I probably would’ve just made it so that Azriel will just automatically look up what he needs to rather than making it free-form.

Alas, poor Winston. The system already knows he’s dead (which is going to make something in the next update very, very awkward) and he’s still lying in that trash heap.

I think this is how you’re supposed to find out about the burned-out building that has the carbon ray stabilizer in it.

The District 6 apartments are the ones we broke into for no reason to find Ed in the previous update.

Spoiler Entries

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Update 7: Our Name is Ed Spiegel

Fair warning, this update is going to feature a massive text dump that I am going to summarize most of because it uses far too many words to say far too little. I think in total, it’s something like 10 to 12 minutes of dialog assuming you listen to all the voices and don’t just skip right through when you start getting bored.

After using the Carbon Ray Stabilizer on the lockpicks, there’s something else that’s new on this screen - specifically, a flyer nailed to this boarded-up doorway. This is an event flag we’re going to need to get for later, so we might as well get it now.

Good stuff to know. We could go for the withdrawal medication right now, but the Boryokudan HQ is on the way there and we have no reason not to stop there first.

The guard will stop Azriel and ask why he’s here. There’s a short dialog puzzle which is basically asking if you’ve paid attention to the ID card we found in the last update.

Man, whoever wrote this was REALLY into Cowboy Bebop. It doesn’t matter which fake name you pick, so long as you give the guard the name off the Boryokudan ID card from the dump. It does strike me as kind of strange that this works, though. I mean, if the Terminal system knows that Winston Lucas is dead, it’s surprising that the Boryokudan doesn’t.

This entire bit is kind of inconsequential. The guard on the stairs accosts us, there’s a dialog option that is a blatant Monkey Island reference, and then we get to go see the Boryokudan leader. So, why the autosave?

The second option is the answer here: obviously, the Boryokudan know Azriel isn’t with them, and telling them he’s a cop goes over about as well as you’d expect it to. The boss more or less confims what we already know, with a slight twist: Center 7 was originally established during the war ten years ago as a means of non-lethally eliminating enemy soldiers (though technically it’s the same as killing them). It was re-opened to deal with the Boryokudan, who promptly took it over and started snatching people off the street to turn them into assassins.

Naturally, the place is heavily guarded against entry from space.

…and I just saved you all from rifling through about a hundred screenshots worth of monologue. Basically, we need to find the Boryokudan’s drugs. The boss gives us a phone number for the cargo pilot, a guy by the name of Kenneth who is not a citizen of Gemini (thus he won’t be in the terminal system).

Azriel leaves the Boryokudan HQ and immediately calls Kane.

Communicator: “They want the juice, we want the coordinates.”

Communicator: “Az… don’t tell me you’re going to help them get back their drugs.”

Communicator: “You know what that stuff does to people.”

Azriel: “Kane… you should know that I’m not going to do that by now.”

Communicator: “Okay, Az.”

Communicator: “Anyway, I did some searching for Center 7.”

Communicator: “An old news document turned up some kind of escape attempt.”

Communicator: “Turns out there was a guy who managed to escape from that facility and landed in the city you’re in.”

Communicator: “From what it looks like, they never caught him.”

Azriel: “You think he’s still around here?”

Communicator: “I don’t know, but it’s worth taking a look.”

So, I’m just gonna skip calling Kenneth altogether, because all he really tells us is that he lives in Hibiscus Highrise. When we go there…

Oh look, another dipshit pointing a gun at Azriel. Surely we’re going to get to kill him and…

Nah, it’s a stupid dialog puzzle. Basically, all we have to do is tell him we’re not with the Boryokudan and then that we’re looking for the Juice shipment to destroy it. Kenneth whines about his hand being broken. Seriously, at this point I was about to kill this LP because of how bad the pacing issues with it are.

Anyway, Kenneth’s story is basically that he was smuggling the drugs onto Barracus when he stopped at a space station outside the planet. The drugs were stolen at some point between when he got there and when he left for the planet. He takes approximately twenty lines of dialogue to say this before dropping a photo of the last ship to leave the station before he did. How he has this (or why the Boryokudan didn’t bother to get it themselves) is unclear a result of the game having a decent concept but not having the writing to back it up. Pacing!

We can stick the photo in a terminal and do the whole CSI “ZOOM. ENHANCE.” thing three times until we get the serial number on the ship.

In case you can’t read it (it’s hard to read even in-game and I can only imagine how bad it is if you’re colorblind) the number is 36325. Honestly, this entire section is just filler and I hate it.

Notice how the number on the terminal entry for the ship’s serial number doesn’t match the actual serial number. Remind me why I haven’t dropped this game yet?

Interesting. Paul Erickson is a freighter pilot and lives in the District 6 Apartment Building. This building is not labelled anywhere on the map - it has a terminal entry with the address, which is not on the map. Game design! Fortunately, I’m using a guide because fuck this ENTIRE section of the game, and I happen to know that the District 6 Apartment Building is that one we broke into for no reason last update to find the Cowboy Bebop reference.

Basically, the puzzle here is finding out which apartment Paul Erickson is in. The paper at the abandoned apartment desk tells us that they left a note on his mailbox to pick up his packages. You can see the piece of paper on the mailbox for 2A (the apartments in both this building and the other one go from A to E, with A on the left).

Once we get there, we find Paul unconcious from juice withdrawal. How convienient that we happened to find that note on the door about juice withdrawal medication. Time for another filler puzzle!

Apartment 2A in Hibiscus Highrise (where we were told to get the meds) has a bunch of goons waiting outside. So, what do we do?

On the other end of the floor is a puzzle identical to that one we did to climb the wall however many updates ago that was. By sticking Azriel’s foot in the hole, he can reach the power conduit in the corner and shut off the power by jamming his lockpicks into it.

This causes two of the goons blocking the apartment to run down to the lobby, leaving us free to kick the last one to death.

A mystery woman shows up and hands Azriel the withdrawal meds after spouting off like twenty lines of pointless dialogue! Pacing!

On the way back to Paul Erickson, there’s an achievement we can get for using the withdrawl meds on three of the addicts in this area: these two, plus the one near the shop.

Using the magic of editing. I can skip the literally thirty screenshots of Paul telling us that he actually owns a company that leases cargo ships and that he had absolutely nothing to do with the smuggling but that we can check his terminal to get the name of the guy who leased it. Pacing!

Anyway, before we go to find Barry, we can now find the last Cowboy Bebop reference, which is located all the way back in the room where we got the carbon ray stabilizer. This gets locked out the second you find Barry, so it has to be done now.

The game expects us to try using the terminal to find Barry Adama, then expects us to ask the shopkeeper about him, and then expects us to just kinda wander over to Hibiscus Highrise and ask the clerk. We can skip all that BS by going right to the apartment building.

We can then raid Barry’s personal terminal and oh look he’s going to go blow up a weather control tower. Mercifully, there’s a fade to black, and next update, we’ll wake up as Delta Six for a much less boring update.

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Update 8: Maintenance Duty

In another case of characters in this game using too many goddamn words to say too little, we get complained at by the Director to go fix the mess we made down in the air shaft control room picking up the gun that probably doesn’t actually work.

Before we go to maintenance, there is one thing I kind of neglected up to this point. Just like Azriel has the spare magazines, Delta Six has his own set of collectibles - in this case, handwritten notes he can find strewn about Center 7. There are six of these in total: two of them are automatically picked up as a result of advancing the story.

The first one is in the elevator, on the left. It first appears during the previous Delta Six segment.

This second one appears during that part with the air vent puzzle, in front of a locked door across from the gym. The other two are in areas we can’t access right now - one is by the firing range, and the final one appears in the elevator once the other three are found.

When we get down to maintenance, there’s a burst pipe spewing steam across the path near the door. The handle nearby turns it off (as does the second handle behind the floor vent near the bottom of the screen).

Then we get to do this stupid puzzle again, only this time we need to light up all of the numbers in order to reset the system. It’s not terribly difficult and there is a reset button but I used a guide anyway because fuck you, Wadjet Eye.

We then have to open the tool cabinet and withdraw a wrench and two pipes, which the director goes out of his way, Dan Brown style, to inform us are ten-inch pipes made of magic space metal or something. I kind of stopped giving a shit about him several updates ago.

What follows is an extremely stupid “puzzle” that makes me think the developer of this game probably played Space Station 13 at least once. Like a good Atmos Tech (the kind that doesn’t get banned for breaking into the AI and overwriting its laws with the Wikipedia page for the state of Wyoming) we have to use the wrench on the broken pipes, remove them by hand, put the new ones on, wrench them in place, and then turn the steam back on to test it.

I should mention that the game is dickish enough that if you don’t wrench the new pipes in place, they come off when you turn the steam on, making this stupid filler puzzle take even longer than it has to.

Oh, hi Balder. What are you doing down here? More importantly, how did you even get in here?

So yeah, in case you can’t tell, Balder is basically going full-on Eddie Dombrowski (the fat guy from Silent Hill 2, if you haven’t played it) and getting ready to force us into a gunfight in a meat locker. He has a full villainous speech about how he wanted to rape Epsilon Five and whatnot, but fuck that I’m done with this game’s bullshit.

Or he’ll just punch Delta Six once and tie him up with rope he got from… uh… actually, where DID he get that rope?

Instead of doing the logical thing and just killing Delta Six here, Balder walks up and down the pipes like a moron and keeps being Eddie Dombrowski. There’s no clear way out of this situation - Delta Six can’t untie his hands. The answer is deus ex machina. No, really.

Right next to Delta Six’s foot is a shard of glass that is not there until this exact moment. Go ahead and look back at the previous screenshots - it’s not there. It’s not clear where this glass shard even comes from, since there’s nothing with glass on it in this room apart from the control terminal.

For some reason, you need to use the foot action on it twice to pick it up. This has to be done when Balder isn’t looking - he looks away when he’s walking toward the top of the screen.

Now comes the annoying part. Just below the upper wheel thing is a hole in the pipes where highly pressurized steam is leaking out. We can’t see it right now, since it magically shuts off when Balder enters the room. The trick here is to talk to Balder when he’s walking away from Delta Six and approaches the right spot. It’s a fucking annoying puzzle since the developers expect you to get it just right.

For reference, this is the spot.

Okay, devs? Let’s just talk here. Being hit by high-pressure steam does not cause you to just bleed randomly. That is not what third-degree burns look like.

I feel like this is kind of a wasted moment for character development that would actually make sense with the plot. It would’ve been really cool to see Delta Six go all Hotline Miami on Balder here and slam his head into the floor or beat his face in with the wrench to show that the whole “being trained as a mindwiped assassin” thing is acutally working or to give some more ominous emphasis on what the “final exam” is, but no.

Anyway, let’s be Dipshit McDeviantartOC again, mostly because we have no choice. Dipshit has a thirty-line conversation with Kane about what he’s doing, even though we already know this. I feel like I need another Slowtaku edit, but I’m going to just limit that to one per LP.

Welcome to the Weather Control station. As soon as Azriel walks in, the two grey conveyors in the foreground stop moving, and Azriel makes an obvious comment that they’ve been turned off.

The first thing we want to do here is kick this pipe to dislodge it, and then pick it up. This is part of a long, stupid puzzle that was more or less the first point where I started using a walkthrough when I played this the first time.

We then need to go up that ladder in the background and shoot the padlock on the supply cabinet to get an extension cord.

Now comes another stupid puzzle. In order to get the power working, we need to plug in that machine with all the switches on it. The plug goes into a socket on the second level, at the top of the ladder.

The logical solution would be to plug the cord on the ground into the extension cord, then throw it up through the hole and plug it in at the top. The game will let you do this. It does not work. Instead, you need to plug the extension cord into the socket, drop the cord through the hole, and then connect the two plugs using the box for height. It’s dumb.

Immediately following this is an even dumber puzzle. For some reason, the weather station’s circuit breaker will only allow one system to be on at a time. There are six switches, and the game is perfectly content to let you flip them to no avail. There are no clues to this other than a fuck-long spew of bullshit if you examine the machine itself. The answer is to look up a guide and figure out that you have to pull the first and third switches.

Oh, and then we have to go back up here and flip a switch. Pacing!

Azriel can then go downstairs and ride the conveyor belt like he’s Mario or something. I wonder if that long, brown stain on the floor is a metaphor for how bad this game’s writing is.

Oh look, it’s Sayuri! She’s apparently actually Barry Adama or something. I don’t know or care anymore. Fuck this game. There’s a massive dialogue dump that I’m going to just put into three lines.

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “You can’t have the juice! Also you’re a fucking idiot because the Boryokudan were following you the entire time!”


No, really. You can say that.

What follows is the single most dickish shooting segment of this game. You know how I said getting that achievement for not taking any damage was sadistic to get? This is why. You have two Boryokudan assholes who are constantly jumping out of cover to fire. Both of them can hit you regardless of which side you pull out of cover on. There’s no way to headshot them - you have to spam the spacebar until they go down. I had to crank the difficulty down to easy because I was dying in two or three hits.

The Boryokudan were apparently load-bearing goons, as the weather facility starts to self-destruct once they’re dead. For some reason, even though they clearly came to kill Azriel, they actually brought the Center 7 file with them. Ready for one last stupid puzzle? I know I am! The data packet somehow flew out of the Boryokudan’s hands and magically drifted down to the conveyors. We can’t shut them off using the switches…

So we can just stick a pipe in the gears again. Azriel then does the truffle shuffle over the conveyors to get to the data packet.

Anyway, there’s another ten-minute-long text dump after this. Again, done with this game’s bullshit.

Oh. Oh! If you haven’t guessed the plot twist by now, this pretty much spells it out. Next time, we’ll get to see Delta Six’s escape attempt.

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Update 9: The Kinda Mediocre Escape

The next segment starts up in the scanning room outside of the firing range.

Speaker: “Your final exam. If you pass, you will be free to leave this facility and go on to your new life.”

Speaker: “Go ahead. Pick up the gun.”

So, this is where the game’s writing really starts to break down.

I want you to notice (if you have not already) that there is a security camera above the firing range. I also want you to notice that if this is Delta Six’s final exam, it has been at least two days since the point at which Delta Six swapped the gun for the weight. Somehow, no one has noticed this.

Speaker: “Well? Why aren’t you shooting?”

The Director does absolutely nothing to stop Delta Six from just walking out of the firing range… which again makes no sense given that every other time we’ve been in here, the door has been locked until training is complete. The only way I can even vaguely think that this might make sense is if I was right and the gun is a fake (since the “download more bullets” button doesn’t exist outside of Deep Fear).

We can actually take the weight and leave the room - again, if you’ll remember previously, the door wouldn’t let us out unless there was something on the pedestal.

Outside the range, we pick up Epsilon Five and go to meet Giselle in the mess hall.

Giselle: “Epsilon Five will be coming with us after all.”

She then tells us that Balder was her first choice, but due to an “unfortunate accident” involving third-degree burns to the face, Balder got taken away by medical personnel last night.

This part is also kinda weird. We already checked Delta Six’s stash (in the toilet tank) several updates ago, and the only thing in there was the pipe we used to get the gun through the air vents.

The only thing in Delta Six’s cell is a note by the bed. This is the final note - unfortunately, the game actually locks you out of getting all of the notes after you do the final shooting tutorial, so I’ll go back at the end of this update and get those. So, what’s the significance of these notes? Absolutely nothing!

The writers at Wadjet Eye are kinda famous for leaving in unfinished plot arcs (see: the psychic vampires in the Blackwell quadrilogy who are written in to be the ultimate enemy in the third game but then are never even mentioned outside of a passing reference in the final one). My best guess is that initially, Delta Six was going to have one of the facility personnel helping him escape… but then the writers just decided to go with something dumber.

As soon as we leave, Balder meets Delta Six outside of his cell. How’d he get over the fact that his face melted off? The answer is actually magic plastic surgery (Giselle mentions that the facility has an “advanced surgery center” they use on the inmates when they leave) which will be a major plot point coming up… about five minutes from the end of the game.

Balder says absolutely nothing important but claims to have had his brain wiped.

This is another weird bit. We’ve already seen that they contact the inmates directly when they need them to be on maintenance duty, yet this one goes out over the PA. No idea why.

Sayuri: “I think so…”

Giselle: “We all here? Did you find Balder?”

DeltaSix: “Yes.”

Insert about ten lines about Balder being memory wiped again here.

Giselle: “Well, if we don’t make it, at least we went out trying. If we do make it, I won’t miss this place.”

Giselle: “Do we have everything? Gun, screwdriver… yeah, it’s all here.”

Giselle: “Charlie, take the gun. You’re better with it. Epsilon, give me the card and I’ll open the door.”

Giselle: “Haven’t you decided on a name yet?”

Sayuri: “No…”

Giselle: “Then I’ll give you one myself. How do you like ‘Sayuri’ ?”

Giselle gives us a code to open the door. It’s the same every time.

And naturally, since Giselle is a complete idiot, it’s a fake code that sets off an alarm. I’m reasonably certain that Giselle was originally supposed to be a villain and that Delta Six was originally supposed to mastermind the escape plan, because that makes a whole lot more sense than what happens here.

Speaker: “Delta-Six, Epsilon-Five, Beta-Seven… the other instructors and I are disappointed in you all.”

Giselle: “Shut up.”

Speaker: “…Please don’t speak to me like that.”

Giselle: “Why don’t you come down here and face us for once?”

Speaker: “Giselle, I see you’re still the same even after your rehabilitation.”

Anyway, to sum it up, the Director makes a nonsensical statement about how he’s going to have to mindwipe and retrain everyone (which makes no sense given that it’s already established they can do a memory wipe without effecting learned skills) and that the guards are coming and we have no chance of making it out, etc etc.

Delta Six is having exactly none of this shit, and shoots the handle off the door before kicking it in.

The rest of this is more or less an autoscroller.

Beyond the catwalk area is a room full of crushers straight out of Crash Bandicoot. This is supposed to be the way to the cargo bay, so why they have crushers here (or what purpose they serve) is a complete freaking mystery to me. Actually it’s not, because the developer was ripping off Portal so bad it hurts.

NO! Bad writers! Bad! You’re referencing one of the villains from Bioshock on a character who ostensibly is not supposed to be a villain! What the shit are you doing?

Anyway, my theory here is again that Giselle was originally supposed to be a villain, planted by the Director to try and root out the person helping people escape.

The switch shuts off one crusher at a time, so you have to do this twice in order to get Giselle and Sayuri through the room. I still don’t understand what purpose the crushers are supposed to serve.

An autosave! I wonder what’s coming up next… could it be another dickish shooting segment?

Yep! The sprite artist clearly wasn’t paid enough, so Delta Six fights multiple clones of himself. There’s an achievement for escaping Center 7 without taking damage. This fight is almost identical to the one Azriel did in the last update - the two clones are constantly covering each other and spamming an endless hail of bullets. Fortunately, they go down in two hits each as opposed to four or five for the Boryokudan guys.

Past them is a pointless room that leads to the reactor core.

And finally, Giselle dies. RIP walls of text, you will not be missed.

Sayuri is also a master of unlocking for some reason. Writing!

What would a mediocre game be without a “Cover the hacker while they hack the door!” segment? I don’t know, because Gemini Rue sure has one. This is another heavily dickish gunfight - the single clone fires a random number of bullets each time he pops out and pops out at semi-random intervals, making headshots impossible. Killing this guy in general is just luck.

As you’ve probably already figured out, Sayuri escapes into the cargo bay while Delta Six gets shot in the back… on the “stun” setting. By Balder.

Next time, we’ll finish this godforsaken game so I can move on to something that isn’t garbage.

This is the missing note, by the way.

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This whole thing went so poorly that they’re all doing a retake. They’ve got to take it from the top, just with less bad this time.

Mini-Update 2: Developer Commentary Run Part 1

So after playing through this game a second time and realizing how the writing is kinda… weak… I remembered that there’s a developer commentary mode that I never really touched the first time through. I think I had enough of the game by that point and I just kinda uninstalled it. What follows will basically be a text version of my reaction to seeing commentary mode for the first time.

Okay so the dev sounds like a nerd but I understand where he’s coming from - passion project and all that. I will say that Wadjet Eye was a poor choice of publisher (given they had a hard enough time making the Blackwell series playable) but this game came out before Kickstarter so I kinda understand. Also for a second I was like “Wait, the Monkey Island guy?” before realizing that’s Ron Gilbert. Speaking of which, I kind of wish I had done Thimbleweed Park instead.

Commentary mode puts these giant, unmissable film reels all over that indicate commentary nodes. I’m pretty sure Josh Nuernberger saw the way Valve did this in Team Fortress 2 and just kinda ran with it. He even gives out his email at one point (which I won’t post here) the same way as the now-infamous “gaben” clip.

I really don’t have any disagreements with this - the mindwipe scene was actually pretty good and didn’t wreck the game’s pacing. Honestly, at this point Gemini Rue is still a good, well thought out game. I can’t say as much for the later parts.

I haven’t mentioned it, but it should be fairly obvious going back that the mindwipe scene happens chronologically after the escape sequence from Update 9.

Fast-forward to the start of the actual game. I highly doubt the dev/writer thought about this game this much. The other two things are “blooper reels” but let’s be honest when I say 70% of this game is a blooper reel. One of the things I honestly kind of hate about the writing is the fact that the dialogue just kinda sucks - 90% of Delta Six’s lines are one word, and Azriel is only slightly better. By the way, most of the “bloopers” are really… not.

Ignore the numbers, I’m not entirely sure why they’re totally out of order. The kick action I was fine with, but I think it was kinda superfluous.

Just gonna go out on a limb here. The entire terminal thing was kinda dumb - and let me explain why. Clearly, the dev was trying to make Azriel seem competent - but at the same time, he has to stop and ask for directions when Matthius literally lives straight down the goddamn street. There’s also a reason that this entire exchange will not make any sense when the next update hits. I’ll give you a hint: it has to do with the fact that a certain someone could not be certain Azriel would even be able to find Matthius in the first place (assuming the shopkeep didn’t let him borrow the ID card).

Objection! You actually CAN’T explore that route at this point in the game! You literally can’t go anywhere but straight to the apartment building at this point! In fact, you can’t go down the side streets until after the chase sequence has already happened!

So I was wrong about one thing here when I did this the first time. You can also tell the guy you’re with the Boryokudan and he’ll just immediately give you the room number.

On my way up to the escape sequence, I realized something that also shows the developer really stopped paying attention around this point. If you try to pick the door to Matthius’s apartment, Azriel will go “I should really just knock first.” He will, however, pick the door to the apartment next door without asking the same question. Small, I know, but still.

Also, I like how the developer never ONCE mentions why the shit I had to click like ten times to get through this godawful screen. I kinda figured it was to build suspense, but then you realize that the Boryokudan guys stop chasing you the second you get up that ladder. There’s no real suspense there. Also, I don’t quite understand why opening that door has to be five different clicks - it would’ve made way more sense for Azriel to swing the thing like a baseball bat and shatter the whole door.

I had no idea you could even hide behind the door. That just seems so… stupid… when there’s an open door to the balcony outside. Like, I get that the Boryokudan are laughably incompetent but it seems like hiding behind the door would be impossible if the goons come into the room at all.

Moving on. There’s a giant fucking wall of text in the first room Delta Six wakes up in (the scanning room right before the firing range). The developer at no point explains the aborted plot arc with the rogue facility member trying to help Delta Six escape or why all those lines of dialogue in the opening cutscene about “I’m going to try and help you get out of here” were even there in the first place. Interestingly, this part was originally the first part to have Delta Six in it before they decided to put in the mindwipe sequence.

Also, given the dev’s track record of PACING! I’m fucking amazed he didn’t leave those logic puzzles in. However…

Wait, this game was at freaking E3? Do they mean the actual E3, or the way that a bunch of crappy devs have booths outside of the venue? Anyway, I have the feeling that someone at E3 played this, said basically what I did, and then the dev redesigned this part to be slightly less PACING! than before. Still, the fact that he thought that idea was okay at any point makes me wonder what the actual good parts of this game would’ve been like if stuff hadn’t been changed.

That’s about all for this commentary update. I’ll try to finish the rest of commentary mode after I do the final update, as the rest of this kind of spells out the plot twist for those who haven’t already guessed it.


Update 10: Pacing! [90% CUTSCENE]

Meanwhile, back in space…

So one thing I wasn’t entirely clear on is that basically, Center 7 does magic plastic surgery on the people that finish their “training” to make them into a different person. Giselle mentions this during one of her walls of text back like four updates ago and I missed it in between her restating the same shit over and over.

Kane then goes on about fifteen lines of Star Trek pseudo-technical speak that adds nothing to the story. Pacing!

Oh, and then this little tidit. Giselle mentions this in another one of her walls of text somewhere. Honestly, I kind of wish I did this as a video LP because at this point I’d do “Gemini Rue only every time there’s a completely un-necessary line of dialog it gets faster”. Kane follows up with some pseudo-intellectual bullshit about “Would you really want your memories back what if you were a bad person” which is just kinda… yeah. The game’s writing has COMPLETELY gone to shit here and I’m not even going to pretend it hasn’t.

Okay, let me just explain why this is dumb. There are FOUR PEOPLE on your ship, Kane. FOUR. That’s a number you can count to on one hand and still have a finger left over.

Oh and then there’s this shitty excuse for a puzzle to break up what is otherwise an overly long cutscene. Basically, you have to get the center of the crosshair aligned with the red dot.

When you get about halfway there, the screen dies and Azriel has to kick it to restart it. You then get to do this stupid excuse for a puzzle a second time. Pacing!

We enter Center 7 from the last room we saw Delta Six in - if you’ll remember, he got shot in the hallway leading up to this room after helping Sayuri escape.

There’s only one way to go here - don’t get this segment mistaken for gameplay, it’s 100% a cutscene. Sayuri will complain if you attempt to go anywhere but here. Now we’re back in the same room Delta Six was mindwiped in after his escape attempt. I cut out about oh… twenty images of going here and then having to ask Sayuri to open every single door in the way?

By the way, everything went to absolute shit here since Sayuri escaped. There are dead bodies everywhere, and a dumb Resident Evil puzzle where Azriel has to shoot a light to stop an electrified puddle.

Oh and then we have to get a keycard off the dead guy in this room to get into the mindwipe chamber. There, I just saved you about eight minutes of cutscene. You’re welcome.

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “What’s your brother’s name? I’ll try to find his cell.”

Azriel: “His name is Daniel. Daniel Odin.”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “Okay… I’m scanning this station’s manifest for lifeforms. That’s funny… none of the station’s crew are showing up on the list.”

Azriel: “What about the prisoners?”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “Yes. They’re here. His name is Daniel Odin?”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “That can’t be right. There’s nobody here by that name.”

So at this point, if Sayuri had an ounce of goddamn sense (which she doesn’t, given that she just took a ship to the mindwipe facility she escaped from with three men who she only just met) she’d probably pull a knife and jam it into Azriel’s gut. I mean, wouldn’t you be suspicious as all hell if the brother just doesn’t exist?

Azriel: “They couldn’t have taken him anywhere else. Maybe they didn’t update the database. Maybe he’s on another drive.”

Moreover, why do they have giant ENIAC style computers in a futuristic space station?

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “I can look in the next room, but I have to look someone up first. When I was here before, there was a patient called Delta Six. He was the one who got me out of here.”

So basically, the file just tells us what we already know - Delta Six was shot attempting to escape and was later mindwiped and sold to the mafia as an assassin. What is it with bad games and having their main characters be assassins?

The door to the left (which Sayuri must manually unlock because Pacing!) leads to an identical mindwipe room, only this one is more damaged. No surprise then that Sayuri doesn’t find anything about Azriel’s supposed brother in here either.

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “There’s a series of locked drives in the director’s office. We’ll have to go there in person to access them. Wait… there’s another file on Delta Six here.”

So, for some reason this room has a hologram projector which displays the moment Delta Six was mindwiped.

The rest is more pseudo-intellectual garbage about predetermined fate. The last guy I heard talk about this was a roommate I had in college who stapled a dead bird to the common room wall. He was a paranoid schizophrenic who refused to take his meds because “that’s not what God wants for me.” True story, by the way.

The room to the left is the director’s office. Surprise, it’s completely dark.

So before I continue on with the dialogue here, I’d like to mention one thing. Remember how when Azriel talked to the Boryokudan boss and I skipped over like 2/3 of that shit, the Boryokudan director mentioned that this place was originally used by the government on criminals before being taken over by the Boryokudan? Yeah, the writer (who is also the only developer) kinda forgot about that and just re-wrote it to be that the Director went insane and murdered everyone.

By the way, one thing you might ask is “If Azriel can see the Director through the Portal-style window, why doesn’t the Director have a dialogue portrait? Did the dev’s art budget just dry up?” The answer is actually no - the Director DOES have a portrait… which he uses for his final 5 lines of dialogue. Yeah. I’m just going to spoiler it because I think I’ve found something more appropriate and less ridiculous-looking for him at this point.


PhillyPhanatic: “The little assassin who went out to be a big boy and work for the Boryokudan.”

PhillyPhanatic: “But no, no no no no no no no…”

PhillyPhanatic: “You had to screw everything up, didn’t you?”

PhillyPhanatic: “You know what happens when customers get defunct products?”

PhillyPhanatic: “They get recalled. You know how? I put fail-safes in them.”

PhillyPhanatic: “You know… desirable objects. Lost lovers, objects of power, missing family members…”

PhillyPhanatic: “You must know by now. Your name isn’t Azriel. There’s no such person as Azriel Odin. I created him.”

PhillyPhanatic: “I programmed your entire past, your entire… being, your personality.”

PhillyPhanatic: “I made you think that you were Azriel Odin. But… I am happy to see you again, Delta Six.”

So yeah, if you hadn’t already guessed it, this game only actually has six characters. Delta Six and Azriel are the same person. Epsilon Five and Sayuri, also same person. As for Balder…

He’s busy holding up Kane at gunpoint. I am not shitting you when I say the next fifty screenshots are the Director monologuing about pseudo-intellectual bullshit and “fate”. There are a couple of vaguely important lines though that show this entire scene was re-written.

PhillyPhanatic: “I think I know why you were a failed item. It’s because you have a conscience. Fortunately, we have a way to wipe that now.”

PhillyPhanatic: “Remember the Gemini War? What you did there? Maybe we need to make you do that again, until we desensitize you to it.”

I kinda paraphrased that, but it’s close enough. I’d also like to mention that it’s a plot hole. According to the game’s own text logs, the Gemini War happened ten years ago. Delta Six was mindwiped a year ago. There’s almost no way that it’s even possible he fought in the war.

Magic pink knockout gas gets released. Now, you’re probably wondering, as I am: if the Director had magic pink knockout gas the entire time, why didn’t he use it to subdue Delta Six during the escape sequence instead of having a bunch of clones go in, potentially fucking up his entire plan which required that he deliver every single one of his mindwiped patients on time? Hint: It’s because the writer sucks.

Anyway, Sayuri wakes up in a cell next to Kane. You have to open a grate between the cells and talk to it to find this out, after which Sayuri literally recites the ENTIRE PLOT up to this point in a 50+ line epic of Pacing!

So remember how Delta Six had a pipe in his toilet tank? Kane has one in his - and to get him to take it, we need to use no fewer than twelve clicks. The first click on Kane always activates the same dialogue.

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “Kane, can you do something for me?”

Kane: “What?”

The first three clicks get Kane to open the grate between the cells on his side. The second set of three gets him to take the lid off his toilet. The third set of three gets him to look inside the toilet tank and find a pipe. The fourth set gets him to somehow slide the pipe through the grate to Sayuri.

Sayuri then has to use another four clicks to open a broken panel on the wall, allowing her to step right on through into Crash Bandicoot.

I wish I could just answer “yes”. Kane is supposed to be a cop, yet he’s so incompetent that he just kind of blindly trusts Azriel and Matthius despite not knowing who the hell they are.

Remember the puzzle we did here last time? Previously, there was no way to get both crushers to stop - the lever only stopped one or the other. This time, it stops both at once, and you have to just kind of guess and check and hope you make it work.

Meanwhile, the game cuts to Azriel being mindwiped. Again. Also to Matthius announcing that he’s Balder… because apparently, Azriel will somehow remember this.

Kane and Sayuri rush in just a minute too late, and decide to just get out of here and cut their losses. This is the first thing anyone in this game has done that has made any fucking sense whatsoever.

They go back to the hangar bay, and the Philly Phanatic himself chimes in before starting a manual lockdown of the entire facility that will allow the doors to open only if there is an emergency. There’s a gas mask in a locker just above where Sayuri is, which she needs to take.

Sayuri then steals a convieniently-placed keycard by backtracking all the way to the second mindwipe room (where Azriel was) that mysteriously was not there the first time she came through here.

She can then use this terminal to overload the reactor, causing the entire facility to go into self-destruct mode.

That plan worked out really well for the Director. I have to wonder if they actually mindwiped him as a joke and replaced his brain with a peanut.

The game does a couple of shots of the facility where Delta Six was showing the prisoners escaping before showing the door to the Director’s office opening back up.

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “The doors are opening… that means I can go back… I can get my memory back!”

Kane futilely argues with her, and instead of doing the smart thing and just dumping her here to explode with the rest of the station, agrees to wait.

PhillyPhanatic: “I-I… normally don’t like to talk to my patients face to face, but…”

PhillyPhanatic: “…but… but… it appears you have made quite a mess of things.”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: " You think controlling our lives is your decision?"

PhillyPhanatic: “Everything in a normal human being’s life creates who that person is, from their environment, to their friends, to their life experiences.”

PhillyPhanatic: “All I’m doing is re-creating that. It’s the same thing that happens to every person who enters this world.”

PhillyPhanatic: “No matter what, I can’t control everything.”

PhillyPhanatic: “Do you still blame yourself for leaving Delta Six behind?”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “Are you going to kill me?”

PhillyPhanatic: “What do you think? Do I have a choice?”

There’s a choice of yes or no, the result is the same.

PhillyPhanatic: “Maybe everything in my life was predetermined up to this point. Maybe someone chose my past, my life experiences, my environment.”

PhillyPhanatic: “Maybe that shaped my personality into who I am and what I can and cannot do.”

PhillyPhanatic: “But here I am, with this gun. I don’t have a choice, do I?”

PhillyPhanatic: “What I am about to choose has already been decided by every programmed bit of my being before me.”

PhillyPhanatic: “I did have a choice. But I only realized that when it was too late.”

This is the kind of shit I was skipping over. I figured I’d just let you have that little taste. Oh, and then the game cuts to Azriel.

For some reason, Azriel remembers Sayuri’s name (he trips on this as she never actually tells him this post-mindwipe) and immediately goes to save her.

Enter THE WORST gun battle in this entire goddamn game. It’s poorly programmed, buggy, complete and utter bullshit. Matthius/Balder has a set, random chance to dodge any non-headshot bullets aimed at him. I managed to kill him once only to have the game softlock.

You have to get multiple headshots on him - he takes three perfect headshots to go down, but even then the headshots may not even register.

If you can’t tell, the Director has shot Sayuri. You have exactly one second to right-click on the Director and have Azriel pull his gun and fire.

There’s also a real dickish final achievement here. You remember the memory computer? We have to access it with Azriel now for the achievement, before going to check on Sayuri.

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “Azriel. Don’t.”

Read: The game developer did not want a happy ending for any of these morons.

Azriel: “What?”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know my past.”

Really, Sayuri? Really? You made me go through all this stupid bullshit just so you could choose NOT to go after the memory computer, despite it being RIGHT THERE?

Azriel: “But what about me? My past?”

SayuriOnlyWithAHoodOn: “You don’t need it.”

Anyway, I’ve had enough of this shit.

Sayuri gives off another long-winded pseudo-intellectual rant to Kane about how Azriel is better off being mindwiped because “there’s something besides your memories that makes you who you are”.


Anyway, that’s the end of this godawful trainwreck of a game. Thanks for sticking with me, and I promise the next LP I do will be of a game that I don’t absolutely hate. In fact, I didn’t even know I hated this game until I got to the point where the writing stops making any goddamn sense.